Emirates country overview

The land of Emirates

Geography, People, Culture, and Economic Profile

Emirates information index

Geographic regions of Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is known for its vast expanse of desert, with huge areas of sand stretching across the majority of the country. In particular, the oases of Līwā, found to the east of ʿArādah, boast some of the largest sand dunes in the world, creating a stunning and unique landscape that captures the imagination of visitors from around the globe. One of the most famous oases in the region is Al-Ain, located roughly 100 miles (160 km) east of the bustling city of Abu Dhabi. This oasis is not only a beautiful natural wonder, but also plays a crucial role in providing water and sustenance to the people living in the arid desert environment. In contrast to the flat sandy plains, the Musandam Peninsula offers a striking relief feature in the eastern part of the country. As an extension of the impressive Ḥajar Mountains, this rugged peninsula boasts elevations that soar up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level, providing a stark contrast to the flat desert landscape that dominates much of the country.

The United Arab Emirates is a country known for its diverse geography, which offers a range of stunning landscapes and natural wonders for visitors to explore. From the iconic sand dunes of the Arabian Desert to the rugged peaks of the Hajar Mountains, the UAE’s geography is as diverse as it is beautiful. One of the most famous natural wonders in the UAE is the Liwa Oasis, located in the Rub’ al Khali desert. This oasis is home to lush date palm groves, freshwater springs, and traditional Bedouin settlements, providing a stark contrast to the surrounding desert landscape. For those seeking adventure, the UAE offers a range of activities to suit every taste. From thrilling desert safaris and dune bashing excursions to hiking and mountain climbing in the Hajar Mountains, there is no shortage of opportunities to explore the country’s natural beauty. In addition to its natural wonders, the UAE is also home to a number of modern cities and cultural attractions, making it a truly unique destination for travelers. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient forts and archaeological sites, shopping in world-class malls, or dining in some of the best restaurants in the world, the UAE has something to offer everyone. In conclusion, the diverse geography of the United Arab Emirates makes it a truly fascinating destination for travelers seeking adventure and exploration. With its stunning landscapes, natural wonders, and modern amenities, the UAE has something to offer every type of traveler, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Middle East.

These natural harbors along the Gulf of Oman coast provide important strategic locations for trade and shipping activities in the region. Dibba, Khor Fakkan, and Kalbā have played significant roles in facilitating the movement of goods and fostering economic development in their respective areas. Dibba, located on the east coast of the Musandam Peninsula, is a bustling port town that has historically served as a hub for trade between the Arabian Peninsula, India, and East Africa. Its natural harbor offers protection from the rough waters of the Gulf of Oman, making it an ideal spot for ships to dock and unload their cargo. Khor Fakkan, situated on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, is another important natural harbor in the region. Its strategic location near the Strait of Hormuz, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, has made it a key player in the global maritime trade network.

The port of Khor Fakkan handles a large volume of container traffic and serves as a vital gateway for goods entering and exiting the Middle East. Kalbā, located further south along the Gulf of Oman coast, is a smaller but no less significant natural harbor. This picturesque port town has long been a popular destination for fishing and diving enthusiasts, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life. The harbor at Kalbā provides shelter for fishing boats and pleasure craft, as well as serving as a stopping point for larger vessels passing through the region. In conclusion, the natural harbors of Dibba, Khor Fakkan, and Kalbā along the Gulf of Oman coast play a crucial role in facilitating trade, commerce, and tourism in the region. These ports serve as vital hubs for economic activity and contribute to the growth and development of the surrounding areas.


Despite the lack of permanent surface water, the United Arab Emirates has made significant efforts to maximize its water resources through various methods. One such method is desalination, where seawater is treated to remove salt and other impurities, providing a reliable source of freshwater for the population. In addition, the country has invested in wastewater treatment and recycling facilities to ensure that water is used efficiently and sustainably. Furthermore, the UAE has implemented strict regulations on water usage and conservation practices to prevent waste and promote responsible water management. This includes promoting the use of water-saving technologies in agriculture, industry, and households, as well as implementing awareness campaigns to educate the public on the importance of water conservation. Despite these efforts, the UAE faces challenges in ensuring water security due to its arid climate and limited water resources. Climate change is also exacerbating water scarcity in the region, leading to increased pressure on existing water supplies. However, the UAE continues to invest in innovative solutions to address these challenges, such as cloud seeding to increase rainfall and the development of sustainable water management practices.

Overall, while the United Arab Emirates may not have permanent streams or bodies of surface water, the country is taking proactive steps to ensure a reliable and sustainable supply of water for its population and future generations. Through a combination of technological advancements, conservation efforts, and strategic planning, the UAE is working towards a water-secure future despite its arid environment. 

Despite the challenges posed by the shifting dunes, efforts have been made to manage the drainage of these sabkhahs in the United Arab Emirates. The government has implemented various measures to prevent the obstruction of water flow, including the construction of drainage channels and the installation of pumping stations. In the western region of the country, the Maṭṭī Salt Flat is a prominent feature that stretches southward into Saudi Arabia. This vast expanse of salt flats is a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of plants and animals adapted to the high salinity levels of the soil. Coastal sabkhahs in areas around Abu Dhabi are also subject to seasonal flooding from the waters of the Persian Gulf. During periods of heavy rainfall or high tides, these low-lying areas may become inundated with water, creating temporary wetlands that support a diverse range of bird species and other wildlife. Overall, the sabkhahs of the United Arab Emirates are important ecological habitats that play a crucial role in the country’s biodiversity. By managing the drainage of these unique environments, the government is working to preserve these natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

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